NCAS AND SCHOLAR BALLER RECOGNIZE GEOFF NAVARRO January 31, 2012 Monmouth Sports Information ORLANDO, Fla. ‐ The Scholar‐Baller program, in conjunction with the National Consortium for Academics and Sports (NCAS), has listed Monmouth University track and field standout Geoff Navarro (Mays Landing, N.J./Absegami) to its 2011 Third Team Academic Momentum Team. Honors were rewarded to student‐athletes based on academic improvement and the impact each student‐athlete's academic performance they had on his or her classmates, teammates, academic advisors, and professors. The organization, which honored 49 student‐athletes, received 89 nominations from 55 difference colleges and universities. "This honor means a lot to me," said Navarro. "It means that people here in [Monmouth] athletics actually thought of me in a high regard as they put me up for this award. I am in pretty elite company with the other student‐athletes that were honored. It also shows the other side of 'student‐athlete' which I don't think many people take into consideration; we are students before we are athletes. This is a list of people who are really good athletes that are also improving themselves in the classroom and I'm happy to be a part of it." The NCAS, established in 1985, is an ever‐growing organization of colleges and universities that provides opportunities for current and former student‐athletes to continue their pursuit of higher education, while working in the community with children to address social issues. The Scholar Baller movement, created in 1995, evolved in response to concerns that the student‐athlete's athletic role increasingly superseded the student role. In order to address this issue, the founding members of Scholar Baller developed a groundbreaking program to bridge the gap between education and sport utilizing student‐athletes' passion for entertainment and athletics. Last season, Navarro was the second leading scorer at the Northeast Conference Indoor Championships, taking second place in both the 60 meter dash and 200
meter dash. At the NEC Outdoor Championships, which MU hosted at Kessler Field, Navarro guided the Hawks to their third straight team title, taking second in the 100 and 200 and anchoring the winning 4x100 relay. Navarro, who has graduated after three and half years with a degree in health studies and is now working towards his masters in criminal justice, qualified for the IC4A Championships in two events thus far this winter. At Army's Six‐Team Meet, the team captain ran 7.04 in the 60 meter hurdles and 22.18 in the 200 to earn a trip to Boston for the championships in March. "We are very proud of Geoff and the success he has had both academically and athletically," said head coach Joe Compagni. "The first year can be a big adjustment for our freshmen and it is always great to see someone like Geoff come to college, work though the challenges to make that transition, and then develop into one of our team leaders. Geoff is a great example for the rest of our team." Navarro added, "Coach Compagni and Coach [Brian] Hirshblond have been a really big help to me. My freshman year I got into a really bad car accident and I struggled with going to doctors and being an athlete. When we came back after intersession in January, Coach Joe set me up with Tina Sevastakis [Assistant Athletic Director for Student Development] and utilizing study hall. I attribute going to class and reading as a big things that helped me [improve my GPA], which I don't think a lot of our student‐athletes realizes how important they are." "After winter break, I regained a focus and I decided that I didn't spend five years just to get my bachelors," continued Navarro. "I ended up taking summer classes, started getting good grades and then I wanted to be in school. I wanted to do more than just getting my bachelors which led to me to my masters program, which is really interesting and I enjoy." Each award recipient received a recognition certificate and authentic Scholar Baller medal.